College basketball ref who collapsed during Elite Eight says fall saved his life
Two weeks ago, college basketball fans everywhere were scared for referee Bert Smith as he collapsed on the court during the Gonzaga-USC Elite Eight game in Indianapolis. In a new follow-up article from Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star, Smith says the fall saved his life.
Smith told Doyel all about what happened after the fall. At the stadium, Smith showed no issues as his pulse, blood pressure, oxygen level and vision were all fine. He left the stadium and returned to his hotel.
At his hotel, Smith’s fellow referees advised him to go to IU Health Methodist hospital to get checked out for a possible concussion. He did not have a concussion, but a series of tests revealed a blood clot in his lung.
“Dr. Katie Trammel. She’s an important part of this story,” Smith told Doyel.
“She sits down next to the bed,” Smith recalled, “and she says: ‘I saw your fall tonight. Something doesn’t add up. I want to know why you fell.’ She checked a few things out, came back in, and took me through the car wash. Just a lot of tests. And they found out.
“She said: ‘I got the answer to the question. You went down because you had a blood clot in your lung.’”
Smith was admitted to the hospital and put on blood thinners. Two days later, the clot was gone and he was discharged.
Doyel’s full article, which humorously tells how Smith was “tricked” into leaving the court on a stretcher, can be read here.